Welcome to a new short summer series here at MWCConnection. I had the thought a few weeks ago that myself and others on the team here have formed thoughts and opinions over the years from following and writing about the Mountain West. But what does an “outsider” think about the Mountain West? So on Thursdays going forward, hear from different bloggers, reporters, coaches, and others as we ask them a few questions to get their perspective on the MWC. Enjoy.
Today’s post features: Brandon Huffman
Can you introduce yourself and where you fit in the world of sports?
I’m the national college football recruiting editor for 247Sports and have been covering college football recruiting since 2003.
How often do you watch Mountain West sports?
I watch the Mountain West almost as much as I watch the Pac-12. A good chunk of those players are players I covered, evaluated, rated and talked with when they were high school recruits.
Can you name all 12 football playing schools (without looking it up)?
Easily- Wyoming, Boise State, Utah State, Colorado State, Air Force, New Mexico, Fresno State, San Diego State, San Jose State, Hawaii, UNLV and Nevada.
Is there one sport where you think the conference is known for or excels in?
The easy answer is to say football- obviously, there have been a number of teams that either made a BCS Bowl or New Years Six or competed for them- granted, some were in previous conference affiliations and others were by teams no longer in the conference, but when you think MWC, you think football. That said, hoops has been pretty darn good the last few years with Nevada, San Diego State, and Utah State and even going back to when UNLV was still a perennial top 25 team.
What do you think are the strengths of the conference and what do you perceive as the growth areas?
I think being the only G5 conference in the Western region gives it tremendous strength. With some regions, you have multiple Power 5 conferences and then multiple Group of 5 conferences (Texas, for instance, has schools in the SEC, Big 12, Sun Belt, American, and CUSA, while California has just the Pac-12 and MWC). So they have a better chance with players in the Pac-12 footprint should those schools recruit those states. I also like the way the divisions are set, from a regional standpoint.
What do you think the Mountain West needs to improve or change in order to be more competitive?
Better television time slots. Basically, the same argument that the Pac-12 has, the Mountain West has- playing late games on the West Coast might be good for the die-hard fan or the alum, but from a national perception, those Southern and Eastern people are long asleep. So either invest in a coffee partnership or move the games to a more manageable time slot. I think that helps with recruiting and makes the conference more competitive.